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God, Guns and Freedom No More: Ford Ends Gun Campaign at Alabama Dealership

Earlier this week, a disgruntled employee at a Ford dealership in Morgan Hill, California, went back inside the office he’d worked in for 8 years and shot and killed 2 of his former supervisors, before turning the gun on himself.
Viral ad from Chatom Ford, offering a shotgun, a Bible and a flag with every purchase 11 photos
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In what Ford Motor Co. deemed an “appropriate response,” it has asked a dealership in Chatom, Alabama, to end a promotion that offered all new customers a rather unique bonus: a shotgun, a Bible and the American flag (or any other flag they wanted). Chatom Ford has complied, though with plenty of regret, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The campaign was called God, Guns and Freedom and was supposed to run throughout the month of July. It was meant for the community in Chatom and the dealership didn’t expect their ads to go viral – which they did, after they posted them to social media. Once word got out, they were literally swamped: for a small dealership with only 3 people on staff, they were getting more calls than they couldn’t handle.

According to the publication, Ford Motor Co. has asked the dealership to end the promotion, and they agreed.

“So it’s done. They’ve ended our promotion. I’m very disappointed,”
Colin Ward, general manager of Chatom Ford says. “Ford said we can fulfill our commitments to the customers that we've made up till now, but we have to cease it going forward.”

In a statement to the same media outlet, Ford spokesman T.R. Reid stresses that the campaign didn’t come from Ford, but from the dealership. “This is a local promotion. It is not something Ford developed and the dealers are independent businesses,” Reid says. “But if a dealership is (altering the promotion) in light of the tragedy, that seems appropriate.”

Chatom Ford sells new, pre-owned or certified pre-owned trucks and SUVs, but business is mostly about selling F-150 trucks. To prepare for July 4th, they came up with the idea of putting together 3 items their customers love the most and bundle them as a special offer.

However, they didn’t exactly hand out shotguns: instead, they were offering certificates with which buyers could purchase the shotgun from certified firearms partners.

 
 
 
 
 

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